Chelsea: Charlize Theron, Eva Longoria & Competency Tests (Review)

Chelsea Handler on Netflix

Chelsea this week had two beautiful and talented performers on. Eva Longoria, who was on for “Mexico” night and Charlize Theron to promote her latest film effort and to talk about HIV and Aids.  Topics included Donald Trump, on both episodes, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Sumner Redstone.

The upcoming Republican and Democratic National Conventions were touched on briefly by Jacob Soboroff  from MSNBC and her third  guest was Egyptian comedian Bassem Youssef .  Two assistants came on at the beginning to talk Sumner Redstone, part two.

Both shows were informative and interesting but episode 26 was, perhaps, the  most amusing.  The Sumner Redstone “Part 2” analysis was a rehash of the billionaire’s increasingly bizarre behavior.

Politics slowed things down but at least there was talk of dumping Donald Trump as the Republican candidate for the presidency.   Interestingly enough, Bassem Youssef showed how to lose a western audience with his “killing Christians” quip before talking about red Christmas cups.

Right up until the quip, Youssef had the audience in the palm of his hand. He made some great humorous points about the US  political system and made fun of Trump’s campaign rhetoric “I’m going to bring back Christmas.”  (As Bassem pointed out, “Where did it go?”)

Theron, was on at the start of the episode (after the Sumner infographic) and she talked a little about her latest film, Kubo and the Two Strings.  The oscar winner voices the monkey who “adopts” a boy and looks after him.

She then moved on to speak about her own adopted son and how her body generated pregnancy symptoms while she waited for the process to finish. She and Chelsea talked about  more Charlize’s son Jackson and then the subject moved to HIV and AIDs charity work.  Theron passed on some disturbing facts about the disease and ended by saying that “We could be the generation  that ends HIV.”

The previous night featured Eva Longoria who revealed that she is Mexican. That episode was about “all things Mexico.”  Chelsea went to a bullfight, which was rather revolting – the bullfight, not Chelsea being there – and visited with the former presidente  and Diego Lun.

Longoria came on to talk about moving to Mexico and being a “Texican.”  She also talked about her new clothing line opening.  Eva explained a good bit about Texas history, which used to be a country.She also reveled that she only recently learned Spanish.

This week on Chelsea things were not quite as bubbly as the prior week.  The guests were interesting but not quirky and the humor was fairly  low key.  There was an educational slant to these episodes. Longoria with her history lesson on Texas, the bullfighting lesson and the political information about the Republican Convention.

It is to Chelsea’s credit that all her shows are entertaining, even the esoteric and eclectic ones.  The actual sight of matadors stabbing the bull and eventually killing it was disturbing  and those who are easily upset should not watch this segment.

There was a plus side however. Only Chelsea Handler could  turn the whole bullfighting segment into a joke about anal sex and prison.

Chelsea airs on Netflix.   Tune in if you are fan of Ms.Handler.

Telenovela: The Rivals – Forbidden Love and Raising the Roof (Review)

It has been pointed out that shows, or films, about actors generally do not do well, Telenovela may be the exception, despite falling viewing figures.

Telenovela - Season 1

It has been pointed out that shows, or films, about actors generally do not do well, Telenovela may be the exception, despite falling viewing figures.  The Rivals, episode 104, manages to keep the laughs coming with forbidden love (Gael, played by Jose Moreno Brooks and his instant infatuation with a rival telenovela beefcake) and Ana (star Eva Longoria) with her “Raise the Roof” charity “face-off” with “hated rivals.” 

Longoria is good at comedy, if there is any doubt tune in and do a little binge watching. The performer has got chops.  Leaving aside Eva’s massive comedic chops for the moment, The Rivals is about Eva’s character Ana’s charity event “Raise the Roof.”

Things get started  when Ana announces that she needs cast volunteers to help a family to improve their home the next day. After a disappointing show of hands, the cast learn that the “coffee-boy” is off and they stage a “Belly Jenga” contest to see who will get the coffee.

Xavi (Jencarlos Canela) and Ana lose and after they bring back the coffee, the cast from their  telenovela rivals, titled”Cientificos Sexy,” arrive and Ana’s arch enemy Kate (Kate del Castillo) and her husband Diego (Carlos Ponce), show up to  volunteer for Ana’s charity.

On the day, each cast challenges the other in helping the Torres family and it turns into a very uneven competition. Clearly the “Cientificos Sexy” cast are much better at building than the cast of “Las Leyes de Pasión.”

During the event, Diego kisses Ana, who rushes to tell Kate and she learns her rival’s marriage is sham and  that Xavi and she may be exes but they are friends.

Standout Moments:

The slow-motion “paint fight” between Kate and Ana, where Xavi “takes a blob” for Ana and Diego protects himself.

Telenovela - Season 1
Xavi taking a blob for Ana…

The whole “star-crossed” lovers subplot that sours when the “forbidden love” aspect ceases to exist.

Telenovela - Season 1
Julio (Andrew Dits) and Gael as the star-crossed lovers.

Rodrigo (Amaury Nolasco) and Isabela (Alex Meneseswith the mustache gag and “they always fall in love with me.”

The kitchen vs the “wall” and the entire one-sided competition between the two telenovela casts.

Ana’s excitement at learning how to turn on the tools.

Telenovela - Season 1
Power tool excitement…

The final shot of Ana’s paint covered rear after she congratulates Xavi on helping her keep her white outfit white. (And they finally “high-five” correctly.)

Telenovela - Season 1
Paint covered derriere friendship.

Honorable Mentions:

Ava Longoria managing to look adorably cute (and about 15 years old) when smiling about  having to tell Kate that her unfaithful husband Diego tried  to kiss her.

Gael’s revelation that after checking onlineMD for hours about a mysterious new “lump” he discovered turned out to be a completely new muscle.

Conclusion:

Telenovela may be about the actors behind the scenes of a Spanish soap opera, where the actress playing the heroine cannot speak the language, but it is really about over the top comedy that matches the OTT nature of the telenovela.

The cast of this comedy have rapidly become an ensemble and each cast member brings something to the table. Longoria proves, each week, that comedy is definitely her forte and as the season progresses, Diana Maria Riva, as Mimi,  matches Eva in performance. 

Telenovela airs Mondays on NBC, tune in and catch the buoyant comedic effort by all.

 

Telenovela: The Kiss – Eva Longoria Still Comic Gold

There is no doubt that Eva Longoria is still delivering comic gold as telenovela star Ana Sofia Carlson, in The Kiss.

Telenovela - Season 1

There is no doubt that Eva Longoria is still delivering comic gold as telenovela star Ana Sofia Carlson, in The Kiss. In this episode, Ana Sofia channels her inner Pasión for her date with James McMahon (Zachary Levi), the new network president of VivaVision. Xavi (Jencarlos Canelais initiated onto the cast as the newest member, the writer reveals a secret and McMahon reveals it is not wise to eat the deviled eggs on set.

The Kiss begins with Ana driving into work and discovering the Xavi has parked partially over her parking space. She squeezes the vehicle in between her ex’s car and another and then climbs out of the window.  On set, Ana is disturbed to find that the new network president had a meal with Xavi the night before, so much so that she forgets her line.

After a wardrobe malfunction (marvelous in-joke) instigated by Mimi (Diana Maria Riva), Xavi tells other cast members that strange things have been happening to him on set. Roxi and Rodrigo explain to their new colleague that the set is haunted. Ana goes out with McMahon on a date, albeit reluctantly,  and she decides to go as Pasión.

This episode brings out the real Ana, the actress who does not speak Spanish, like spicy food, pads her bra and uses boob tape to create cleavage and  whose life is not “quite” a telenovela. Although by the end of the episode, her life certainly looks like a one, with McMahon as  the romantic leading man.

The comedy revolves around Ana’s reluctance to begin dating again, the other cast members hazing Xavi, and just how unlike her character Ana actually is.

Levi and Longoria work very well together.  A natural chemistry that plays perfectly whether they are awkwardly getting to know each other or making the final move to really dating. It is cute and endearing that Levi’s character wants to date, not Pasión, or an equivalent of the character. McMahon wants to date the cheese puff eating, car window climbing woman he sees on the security cameras.

(Granted, this whole security camera storyline sounds a bit “stalker-y” but it does not detract from the budding romance. This is, after all, a comedy.)

It should also be pointed out that while singing Longoria’s praises as comedic actress that Zachary Levi is a dab hand at performing comedy as well. The two are brilliant together.

Eva Longoria delivers her performance with timing and an ease that impresses (and a clear delight in her character). Her Ana Sofia Carlson is not just funny, she is lovable. How can one not fall in love with a woman who leaves a cheese-puff handprint on the back of a suit,  let alone clambers out of a car window just to prove a point?

Telenovela - Season 1
Eva Longoria comedy gold

It should also be pointed out that the feature photo with McMahon’s carrying Ana out of the club, is the result of Ana Sofia’s tossing off her wig and it catching fire…Splendid comedy turned into an uber romantic moment, telenovela style.

The finish, where the two are wearing sweatshirts over their drenched outfits, while eating cheese puffs,  and watching the cameras indicates a new level of awareness between the two.  Surprisingly subtle but only for a moment as the final punch line is delivered.

Telenovela is pure comedic gold and airs Mondays on NBC. Tune in for Eva Longoria and relish this entertainer’s panache, beauty and splendid comic timing.

 

Telenovela: Eva Longoria and Prat-Falls

As Sir Michael Caine once said, “people don’t want to watch shows, or films, about actors.” That may not be the exact quote, but it is close and more importantly Sir Michael is not wrong, Telenovela is proof of that. Eva Longoria and prat falls should be a winning combination for comedy.

Telenovela - Season 1

As Sir Michael Caine once said, “people don’t want to watch shows, or films, about actors.” That may not be the exact quote, but it is close and more importantly Sir Michael is not wrong, Telenovela is proof of that.  Eva Longoria and prat falls should be a winning combination for comedy.  So far, viewers have stayed away from the new series in droves.

This must be the only rational explanation as beautiful women who are not afraid to look funny, or more importantly act funny are adducing. Look at I Love Lucy, starring Desi Arnaz and the queen of television sitcom’s Lucille Ball.

One old friend once explained the  allure of Lucille Ball.  In his opinion, nothing was sexier than a “good looking bird not afraid to make herself look like an idiot.”  Longoria knows comedy and does it extremely well, something she shares with Ms. Ball.  In some instances Telenovela  may be a bit too slapstick in nature or broad to be really funny, but Eva, and her co-stars give it their all.

Only recently becoming aware of the “telenovela” and its phenomenal popularity  (these did not air in the United Kingdom) after moving  stateside, the shows have proven to be quite enjoyable, even if one does not speak the language.

(Warehouse 13 in its final season did a spoof episode where all the protagonists were pulled into the world of the telenovela in Savage Secret which was the first time this reviewer learned of the Spanish speaking television format)

Telenovela - Season Pilot
Eva Longoria as Ana Sofia Calderon, Jadyn Douglas as Roxie Rios, Diana Maria Riva as Mimi Moncada

The premise of Telenovela has drop dead gorgeous Longoria as the star of the show and she can speak little Spanish. When her costars are talking about her, she cannot understand because they speak too fast. Her character obviously learns just enough to “get by” on set. This in itself is funny.

Even the new “white bread” network head (played with great panache and extremely straight by Zachary Levi) can speak the lingo fluently while Ana Sofia Calderon (Longoria) falteringly responds.  It needs to be noted that Eva, despite being one of the most beautiful actresses in the world, can and does laugh at herself.

The star has had several wardrobe malfunctions in real life on the red carpet and all handled with a sense of laugh and depreciating humor.  In Telenovela one scene has Calderon rush to confront the network boss. Her costume is held together with pins and as the two talk her outfit begins to disintegrate, popping pin after pin. As she struggles to leave the office, with both hands holding up her top, the gown’s belt dangles down and wraps around her leg.

The timing by Longoria was practically perfect.

Add to the proceeds that the Desperate Housewives actress is not afraid to do a prat-fall or two, or more,  and Eva easily shows that her comedic chops are  massive.

Hot & Bothered - Season 1
Rosie – Jadyn Douglas

Sadly, the show suffers from the sum of too many comic parts.  It is trying too hard to be funny, but to be fair, with so much on offer it does hit far more than it misses.   The telenovela has merged into mainstream television almost effortlessly. The format has a legion of fans (when a well known telenovela star passed away in 2014, millions of fans north of the border went into mourning) and has spawned a few imitations up north.

Jane the Virgin is a straight remake of the hit show of the same name from Mexico,  CW are the proud owners of this very funny sitcom and The Mysteries of Laura, starring Debra Messing, is a another remake of a popular Mexican television show. both “Laura” and Telenovela are on NBC.

After watching the pilot on Hulu, it was impossible not to watch the next two episodes.  The sitcom is not all about broad comedy, nor is it too broad, no one, for instance, gets a pie in the face, but it is also made up of some clever lines of funny dialogue.

Certainly, there are stereotypes. (It does not take long to pick up these “types” after watching only  a small amount of the “real thing.”) The cast all play there parts with an energy that is admirable even if it does feel like a bit too much.

Eva Longoria, Zachary Levi, Jencarlos CanelaDiana Maria RivaAlex Meneses,  Amaury Nolasco and newcomers Jadyn Douglas and Jose Moreno Brooks make up the main cast and while the acting feels a little frantic, that is, apparently the way of the telenovela.

While watching the first three episodes of this new show, there was a much to laugh at.  A number of reviewers and critics are not overly impressed.  Certainly there was at least one “Lucille Ball” moment but that is comedy. Gags are shared, rewritten and adapted and have been since before vaudeville.

Hot & Bothered - Season 1
Jose Moreno Brooks and Eva Longoria

Telenovela may not be the Three Stooges but it is more amusing than not and worth the short time it takes to watch an episode just to see Eva Longoria be funny as hell.  Show creators Jessica Goldstein,Robert Harling andChrissy Pietrosh may be trying to run before they can walk, but the show does entertain, albeit a bit haphazardly.

The sitcom airs Mondays on NBC, tune in for a giggle or two, or just to crush on Eva, you won’t be sorry.

Tina Fey Golden Globe Moment with Naughty Nipple Peek

Tina Fey Golden Globe Moment with Naughty Nipple Peek

This has been Tina Fey’s year. First she will guest host on the new season premiere of Saturday Night Live; then she won an Emmy for Best Comedy Writing, along with her writing partner Tracey Wigfield. And it has been confirmed that Tina and and Amy Poehler will host the next Golden Globes. But on Sunday night at the Emmys Tina Fey had a wardrobe malfunction when one naughty nipple peeked out from one of her own golden “globes.”